programs and degrees


Master of Public Health Program


Mission Statement

The mission of the Master of Public Health in Epidemiology program is to train students in general public health knowledge, general epidemiologic principles and methods and their application to a variety of global, national and regional public health issues. This program is designed to prepare future professionals and leaders in public health practice.


Program Description

The purpose of the MPH program in Epidemiology is to prepare persons to serve as epidemiologists in mid-level positions in research or public health practice settings.  It is appropriate for persons with no previous training or experience in the field as well as for professionals without previous epidemiology training who find that epidemiology is crucial in the execution of their jobs.  Students in the program acquire knowledge of epidemiologic principles and research skills along with application of this knowledge to a chosen concentration area, namely, chronic disease, infectious disease, environmental, reproductive, molecular/cancer, or genetic epidemiology.  This program is designed to prepare persons who have no previous training in public health for a career in that area.  This program is also designed for individuals already employed in the health field (MD, DDS, RN, DVM, MBBS, or PHARMD) or training to be a physician; it enables them to acquire or update knowledge of epidemiology and research skills needed in their jobs. By the end of the program students will have thorough knowledge of the sources of health data and their use in epidemiologic studies.  They will also be able to design and implement studies for collection of data from original sources, such as field surveys.  Students will also acquire skills in the processing, analysis and reporting of data.  The program prepares graduates for positions in public and private agencies in which epidemiologic information is needed for health policy decisions, as well as for the management of research projects in academic and other institutions.   A minimum of 45 credits is required.  The Department also participates in the MD/MPH program.


Masters International Program

The Department of Epidemiology also welcomes students to join us as Masters Internationalists.  These students complete their MPH course work on campus, but they also gain vital public health experience through two years of service with the Peace Corps.  The Peace Corps experience offers a number of personal and professional benefits to public health students, and it also fulfills the practicum requirement of the school.  If you'd like more information about the Peace Corps Masters Internationalist program please click here.


Program Competencies

At the completion of the MPH in Epidemiology students will be able to:

  • Pose the appropriate research question or questions when given a public health or medical problem requiring an epidemiologic investigation (EPID 6260, EPID 7120)
  • Select the appropriate study design to answer the research question (EPID 7120)
  • Identify demographic, social/behavioral and environmental factors which have an impact on the problem under investigation (EPID 6030, EPID 6260, GEHS 6030, GCHB 6030)
  • Specify the data needed to answer the question including data on possible confounding factors identified above (EPID 6260, EPID 7120)
  • Write a study protocol detailing the objectives and methods for such an investigation (EPID 7120)
  • Identify the sources of health data such as demographic reports, vital statistics records, disease registries, and clinic and hospital records and how to access these sources (EPID 6030, EPID 7120)
  • Interpret health status indices based on these data, such as mortality and morbidity rates (EPID 6030)
  • Plan, organize, and manage procedures for collecting data from existing sources as well as original sources such as household surveys or subjects identified for specific studies (EPID 6260, BIOS 7250)
  • Use computer software for data processing preparatory to statistical analysis (EPID 6230)
  • Analyze data using appropriate statistical techniques under the guidance of someone with more advanced training (EPID 7120, EPID 7130, BIOS 6030, BIOS 6040)
  • Interpret the results in consultation with an investigator experienced in the problem area (EPID 7120)
  • Critique epidemiologic literature for strengths and weaknesses of the methodology in published studies (EPID 7120)
  • Discuss from knowledge of the literature the epidemiology in a chosen area of interest, namely chronic diseases, infectious diseases, environmental, reproductive, genetic, or molecular epidemiology (elective course in chosen area)

Admission Requirements

A baccalaureate degree (science or social science major preferred) with a grade point average of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale, a minimum combined GRE score of 300 with quantitative score equal to or greater than the verbal score, three favorable letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant's academic or work experience qualifications; and a career statement indicating the applicant's reasons for choosing the epidemiology program.  Applicants with lower GRE's but solid academic performance or prior public health experience and good letters of recommendation may be admitted.


Program Requirements

A minimum of 45 credits are required for the MPH degree. Students will gain knowledge of general epidemiologic principles and methods and will then apply this knowledge to a chosen area of interest, such as infectious disease, chronic (i.e., non-infectious) disease, environmental/occupational health, reproductive epidemiology, genetic epidemiology, or molecular epidemiology of cancer.

Students in the Department's Master's programs are required to maintain standards of performance that exceed the minimum required by the School.  Students must earn a "B" or better in the epidemiology core course (EPID 6030 Epidemiologic Methods I) in order to advance to EPID 7120, Epidemiologic Methods II.  Additionally, students receiving a grade of "C" in any required course (including core courses outside the Department) must repeat the course. Students receiving a grade of "F" in any course will be dismissed (unless special extenuating circumstances can be demonstrated). Students from other departments can only register for courses in epidemiology if they have a grade of "B" or better in each of the prerequisite courses. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is required.


Course Requirements

School Core Course Requirements (18 credits):


Course Title


BIOS 6030

Introduction to Biostatistics


GEHS 6030

Survey of Environmental Health Sciences


EPID 6030

Epidemiologic Methods I


GHSD 6030

Principles of Health Systems Admin & Mgmt


TRMD 6010

Biological Basis of Health and Disease


GCHB 6030

Social and Behavioral Aspects of Global Health


 Required Courses for Epidemiology Majors:

The following is an overview of the common program requirements a typical MPH student might undertake. These apply to all students entering in the Spring 2007 semester or after.


Course Title


EPID 7120

Epidemiologic Methods II


EPID 7130

Observational Epidemiology


BIOS 6040

Intermediate Biostatistics


EPID 6230

Computer Packages for Epidemiology



At least two of the following courses in advanced methods:

EPID 6260

Survey Methodology


EPID 6290

EPID 6340

Genetic Epidemiology

Clinical and Translational Research Methods



EPID 6420

Clinical Epidemiology


EPID 6750

Outbreak Epidemiology


EPID 6910

Clinical Trials: Design, Conduct and Analysis


EPID 7310



EPID 7410




At least one of the following courses in descriptive epidemiology

EPID 6210                

Cancer Epidemiology


EPID 6220

Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology


EPID 6320

Molecular Epidemiology


EPID 6480

Reproductive Epidemiology


EPID 7090

Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases


EPID 7210

EPID 8810

Epidemiology of HIV/STI's

Human Molecular Genetics



Practicum (SPHL 9980)

Every student seeking an MPH degree must complete a Practicum experience involving at least 200 contact hours. The description and specific requirements of the practicum, as well as all important deadlines are detailed in the Practicum Handbook, which can be found on the Academic Policies and Guidelines page.  Approval by the student's academic advisor is required prior to beginning the Public Health Practicum and Culminating Experience. Some examples of practicum opportunities in Epidemiology include:

Culminating Experience (SPHL 7950)

Students seeking MPH degrees must also complete a Culminating Experience. The description and specific requirements of the Culminating Experience choices, as well as all important deadlines, are detailed in the Culminating Experience Handbook, which can be found on the Academic Policies and Guidelines page. Each student chooses one of two options: (a) Public Health Analysis or (b) Thesis. Approval by the student's academic advisor is required prior to beginning the Public Health Practicum and Culminating Experience.


Model Course Schedule

First Semester-

  • EPID 6030 Epidemiologic Methods I                                   3 credits
  • EPID 6230 Computer Packages for Epidemiology            2 credits
  • BIOS 6030 Introductory Biostatistics                                  3 credits
  • SPHTM Core                                                                          3 credits

Semester Total                                                                               11 credits 

Second Semester

  • EPID 7120 Epidemiologic Methods II                                  3 credits   
  • BIOS 6040 Intermediate Biostatistics                                 3 credits
  • SPHTM Core                                                                          3 credits
  • EPID Content or Methods Course                                  2-3 credits
  • Organize the Practicum                                             

Semester Total                                                                        11-12 credits


  • Practicum                                                                                0 credits

Third Semester

  • EPID 7130 Observational Epidemiology                            3 credits
  • SPHTM Core                                                                         3 credits
  • EPID Content or Methods Course                                 2-3 credits
  • EPID Content or Methods Course                                 2-3 credits

Semester Total                                                                      10-12 credits

Fourth Semester

  • EPID Content or Methods Course                                2-3 credits
  • SPHTM Core                                                                       3 credits
  • Elective Courses                                                             4-7 credits
  • Culminating Experience                                                    0 credits

Semester Total                                                                      10-13 credits

Degree Total                                                                                45 credits

For additional information: contact Therese Carter,, 504.988.6809.



Department of Epidemiology, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2000, New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-988-6809